Nikolay Berdyayev, one of the foremost religious thinkers of modern Russia, pays homage in MIROSOZERTZANIE DOSTOIEVSKAGO (original English title: THE WORLD-OUTLOOK OF DOSTOIEVSKY) to the major influence upon his unique interpretation of Jesus Christ and the role of Christianity in the twentieth century. While his critical study throws considerable light on Dostoevsky’s philosophy, it admittedly reveals Berdyayev’s own religious and ethical concerns to such an extent that critic and subject are inseparable. In the first part of his analysis Berdyayev, beginning with a portrait of the Russian mind, discusses Dostoevsky’s conceptions of man, freedom, evil, and love. In the second, he turns more to the implications of these conceptions in terms of modern Russia, politics, and especially their most complete statement, THE GRAND INQUISITOR, the famous chapter from THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV. Altogether, the critical study provides a significant key for the understanding of Berdyayev’s remarkable intellectual career as well as for Dostoevsky’s works.
Asserting that he thinks Dostoevsky Russia’s greatest metaphysician, Berdyayev wants to unfold the dynamic ideas that he calls Dostoevsky’s conception of the world. The Russian mind, he claims as a basis of his study, is an antagonistic dualism, in which the natural tendency is to seek such extremes that the individual is sharply torn by mutually exclusive positions. The...
(The entire section is 1494 words.)
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